Hardie Minute

Semigration is one of the latest property trends to hit South Africa in recent years. The trend saw huge numbers of individuals and families choosing to sell their inland properties and move mainly to coastal areas.

This trend of semigration, particularly towards the Western Cape, has become more pronounced, offering some insights into the shifting preferences and priorities of South Africans post-Covid.

In order to better understand this trend, Cape {town} Etc engaged with two property experts, Nadine Pretorius from Remax Living and Richard Huxham-Hardie from Hardie Property, who shared their insights into why people are flocking to the Western Cape and how they are settling in.

The allure of Cape Town: A dual perspective
Nadine Pretorius emphasises the quest for a superior quality of life, highlighting how the pandemic has shifted priorities towards health, wellbeing, and living in a nurturing environment. The drive to escape crime and the deteriorating infrastructure of areas like Gauteng play a significant role in this migration trend.

Echoing this sentiment, Richard Huxham-Hardie points to a more raw motivation: the frustration with services and infrastructure that are either broken, inefficient or slow to improve, such as the perennial issue of potholes coupled with high crime levels. Huxham-Hardie notes the city’s appeal as ‘safer, cleaner, more efficient, and cosmopolitan’ – a haven for those seeking a lifestyle change.

Preferred destinations: varied and vibrant
Both experts highlight the diversity in destination preferences among new arrivals. Pretorius points to the coastal gems like Houtbay, Noordhoek, Kommetjie and Blaauwberg, and family-friendly suburbs such as Newlands, Rondebosch and Claremont for its proximity to amenities.

Huxham-Hardie expands on this, stating, ‘All suburbs have their appeal. It really is across the board. One example is the schools in the Southern Suburbs but if you have no kids and you want sunsets and beach access then it is the Atlantic Seaboard.’

The Dynamics of Renting vs. Buying
When it comes to settling down, Pretorius notes a trend towards renting initially, allowing newcomers to familiarise themselves with the city before committing to a purchase. However, this step is increasingly challenging due to a rental property shortage in high-demand areas.

Conversely, Huxham-Hardie observes a current predominance of buying, though he acknowledges the rental market’s vibrancy and the issue of demand outstripping supply.

The narrative of semigration to the Western Cape is one of pursuit – the pursuit of a better quality of life, safer surroundings and a community that matches one’s lifestyle preferences – with the common thread being Cape Town’s ability to offer a more satisfying, balanced life.

Cape Town etc, Adrienne Bredeveldt – “Expert insights into semigration to the Western Cape”. Web blog post. 20 March 2024